Newt Gingrich's To Renew America is more than just a complaint. In an almost-simplistic, uncomplicated style of language that is accessible not only to intellectuals and the Washington elite, Speaker of the House Gingrich has identified the ills of our society - and has prescribed simple remedies for them. Point-by-point he writes about renewing American civilization, creating jobs, changing from a welfare state to an "opportunity society," balancing the federal budget, saving Social Security and Medicare - in short, about how he is trying to put Americans as a people and America as a state onto the right path toward the new Information Age and the 21st Century.
With brilliant simplicity, Mr. Gingrich's book tells us about his own road to understanding the rise and fall of civilizations. As recounted in To Renew America, his enlightenment on those historical processes began at an early age. In 1958, teenager Newt got a summer job as a gardener. The author's moment of truth came suddenly:
To this day, I can remember putting in the sod one warm sunny August afternoon and suddenly reaching the conclusion that civilizations can die (p. 18).
Gingrich masterly describes his growing feelings of great responsibility toward America and her people. Although he has claimed in a New Yorker interview that "I'm not a natural leader. ...I'm too intellectual, I'm too abstract, I think too much" (Bruck, p. 50), To Renew America demonstrates otherwise. The book provides Newt Gingrich's account of how he has worked a lifetime to overcome those limitations to become a charismatic leader of American politics.
It is Newt Gingrich who used to great effect in the 1994 elections the Republican Party's "Contract with America." It is a document which Gingrich believes is the most important American document "in our two hundred year history" (p. 111). To Renew America explains how important it is for American society to have an ongoi...